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Finnish M40/M55

Article about: This is my last post from a collection of 5 Finnish army helmets. The other 4 posts are under sections for German helmets and Finnish militaria. I've posted this one here since the helmet is

  1. #1

    Default Finnish M40/M55

    This is my last post from a collection of 5 Finnish army helmets. The other 4 posts are under sections for German helmets and Finnish militaria. I've posted this one here since the helmet is post-war.

    I've seen various other posts on this type of helmet but wanted to share this one. I assume this liner and strap are typical of this helmet.

    Finnish M40/M55

    Finnish M40/M55

    Finnish M40/M55

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  3. #2



    very interesting.

    Except for a few details, this helmet is confusingly similar to the West German police helmet with a simplified inner lining.

    Are these helmets made in Germany?


  4. #3


    Yes, these are German. The Finns bought 50.000 shells from Romer in West Germany in 1955. Shells only, liners made and fitted in Finland.

  5. #4



    Roemer never made helmet shells himself. That looks to me like an unmarked production by F.W. Quist, Esslingen.

    However, Roemer made interior fittings.

    The inner lining is comparable to the inner lining of German post 1945 police helmets.
    The only difference is that the chinstrap is not painted black.

    The light plastic ring, the lining with the small holes in 5 rows on top of each other, the head size stamp, the zigzag seam on the back and the chin strap with roll buckle and cheek guards are all made in Germany.

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Finnish M40/M55   Finnish M40/M55  

    Finnish M40/M55   Finnish M40/M55  

  6. #5


    OK. I took the citation about Romer from Roudasmaa's booklet TERASKYPARA. and he may have the manufacturer wrong. I think its undoubedtly true that the Finns *did* buy helmets from Germany in the 1950s

    This is a quote from the English translation within the book -

    "...some 50000 helmets were ordered from Hans Romer factory in Germany in 1955, as well as 20000 pieces from Swedish Eskilstuna Stalpressnings AB in 1962. Because of taxation reaaons, these helmets were purchased without the inside."

    It does cross my mind, having copytyped that, that the helmets *without* liners might be the ones from Sweden in 1962. Therefore, did the German-sourced helmets come with liner? This is unclear. Further fown the page we have -

    "Procured helmets had to be furnished with the liner constructions, and this work started in 1963. German helmets were furnished with a Finnish Army's own construction. Swedish helmets got the I53 liner produced by the German Schuberth-Werk KG."

    So the Finns had 50000 German shells without liners for almost ten years? Seem unlikely.

  7. #6


    HHans Römer-Neu-Ulm made the inner linings or inner helmets.

    The company acts as a possible dealer and delivers complete products.

    The shells can only come from a steel or metal goods factory. During the period these were mainly Quist, Linnemann & Schnetzer and the United German Nickel Works and Paul Schulze & Co. Lübek.

    Roemer definitely cannot have made steel helmet shells in-house.

    Based on the comparison pictures you can see for yourself that the lining had to be a 1: 1 copy with comparable stamps, seams and materials, etc. In my opinion, the probability of this is rather low.
    Even the round cork washers are provided.

    It would be realistic to order a steel goods factory for the shells and a separate one for the interior fittings. The assembly can then have taken place in Finland.
    Something similar was done in Germany with the first M1A1 helmets. Shells ordered in Sweden and interior fittings assembled in Germany.


  8. #7


    OK, its highly likely (no, certain!) that you know more about German postwar helmets production than I do. I'm trying to establish now in which points Roudasmaa (who produced his book for the Finnish Military Museum) is wrong. Translation of the main text via scanning and Google Translate isn't going great, and my grasp of Finnish begins and endS with the few words I've picked up from watching BORDERTOWN (none of which have any relevance to helmets...).

    "The steel industry was not interested in domestic pruduction. From abroad, the cheapest offer came from Germany, Neu-Ulm, from the Hans Römer factory, which offered the World War II model "Infanteriestahlhelme Deutsches Model" (Fig. 19). On December 27, 1955, the General Staff, ordered via the importer Oy Finn Levant, 50,000 helmets with an delivery time of eight months. The order was special in that, according to an interpretation of the peace agreement, munitions could not be obtained from (West) Germany. The helmet corresponded to the wartime m / 35-40 in shape and dimension and in the quality of the steel, the small difference being mainly at the ventilation openings. The first acquisition was followed by a four-year hiatus during which the technical development of the helmets and the strength of the helmets were closely studied. In 1959, the protection requirements were changed to meet the Swedish requirements, Iskuenergia increased to more than 60 kpm, which would have increased the maximum weight of a German-style helmet from 1220 g to 1850 g_ This was almost double that of a Finn."

    He seems pretty clear that the shells came from Romer. Is this actually impossible?

    This is quite important as Roudasmaa's is the *only* comprehensive and detailed account of Finnish helmets. If it can't be trusted (as I have done for years) then where are we?

  9. #8



    Römer was definitely not a manufacturer of steel products. So the shells couldn't have been produced there. Römer got them from somewhere.

    It is possible that Römer bought the shells, provided them with an inner lining and then resold the complete helmets.
    Or Römer acted as a middleman.
    Both are definitely possible.

    The following is also noticeable in the excerpt. There is talk of deviating ventilation holes for WW2 production.
    With one exception, this is correct.
    The company F.W. Quist from Esslingen produced - apart from the stamping - an identical shell as before 1945. The company even still had the old production machines in use. So the ventilation holes were also identical.

    The helmet shown at the beginning is a Quist product.
    So has no differences in the ventilation holes.
    Quist also delivered these shells to the West German police.

    If deviating ventilation openings were found, Finland would have to have received shells from different manufacturers.

    On the internet I found pictures of Finnish M1955 helmets, which obviously have different ventilation holes. These also have other inner linings, certainly Finnish.

    Here's an example:

    Timeless Tailors - German M40 Finnish Contract WWII Type Original Helmet

    Here is another shell with a different ventilation hole:

    Military Antiques and Museum - - ZYH-0010 Postwar Finnish M40/M55 helmet - $59.95

    Here the different inner lining becomes clear again.

    I think there are different deliveries here.

    e shell shown is definitely a post-1945 production by Quist and the inner lining should also be a German production.
    Both are different from other Finnish helmets.

    Here, for example, we have a Finnish quist shell with a Finnish inner lining

    Finnish M55/ M40 German Style Helmet

    So far I have been able to make out at least 2 shell types from different manufacturers.

    Quist-shells with the typical Q64 stamp were also found here, as was also found on the post-1945 production.

    Thousands of WWII German-made helmets discovered in Finland - Military Trader/Vehicles

    The helmet shown at the beginning could also be a West German police helmet.
    Hardly any difference.

  10. #9

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